Alonso enjoys F1 return, but admits he is not 100% fit yet

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Fernando Alonso may have enjoyed his first running in a Formula 1 car for the first time in over a month today in practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix, but admitted that he does not feel fully fit after so long on the sidelines.

Alonso was hospitalized following an accident during pre-season testing in Barcelona on February 22. After consulting his doctors, the Spaniard missed the first race of the year in Australia to concentrate on his recovery.

However, he was able to return on Friday in Malaysia after passing the rigorous medical assessments set by the FIA, and completed 45 laps behind the wheel of the McLaren MP4-30.

“It feels great to be back in the car,” Alonso said following practice. “I enjoyed driving so much today.

“Maybe I’m not quite 100% fit after two weeks on the sofa and two weeks out of the car, but I’m fit enough to enjoy it out there.”

McLaren has endured a difficult start to the season after switching to Honda power units for 2015. In Australia, Kevin Magnussen failed to make the start of the race following an engine failure en route to the grid, whilst Jenson Button saw the flag in 11th place as the last classified finisher.

For Alonso, the early races in 2015 will all be about testing the car and getting it up to speed instead of instantly fighting at the front of the field.

“Today really feels like the second day of testing for me,” Alonso said. “I had one solid day’s running in Barcelona during the winter, when I did 63 laps, and I managed 45 today. Plus, we ran with zero problems, so that’s an important step, too.

“We are improving the aero package, gaining a greater understanding of the power unit, and we also have better interaction between everyone working on the car. Every lap is a learning curve for us.

“The car feels consistent and easy to drive, and it’s giving me the confidence to push it to the limit. We had some issues with braking consistency today, but we should be able to resolve those overnight. I feel great – I enjoyed today so much.”

Peacock to stream all Supercross and Motocross races in 2023, plus inaugural SuperMotocross Championship

Peacock Supercross Motocross 2023
Feld Entertainment, Inc.
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NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports announced that Peacock and the NBC family of networks will stream all 31 races of the combined Monster Energy Supercross, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and the newly created SuperMotocross World Championship beginning January 7, 2023 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and ending October 14 in the place where Supercross was born: the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The combined series will create a 10-month calendar of events, making it one of the longest professional sports’ seasons in the United States.

The agreement is for multiple years. The season finale will air live on Peacock and the USA Network.

Peacock will present live coverage of all races, qualifying and heats across both series. The 31 total races will mark a record for the combined number of Supercross and Pro Motocross events that NBC Sports will present in a single season.

NBC, USA Network and CNBC will provide coverage of all races, including the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs and Final, through 2023 and beyond. For more information about the Peacock streaming service, click here.

“With our wide array of live and original motorsports offerings, Peacock is a natural home for Supercross and Pro Motocross races,” said Rick Cordella, Chief Commercial Officer, Peacock. “We’re looking forward to providing fans with an easily-accessible destination to find every race all season long, including the exciting finish with the newly formed SuperMotocross World Championship.”

MORE: A conversation about media rights created the new SuperMotocross World Championship Series

The NBC family of networks has been home to Supercross for the past several seasons and this is a continuation of that relationship. The media rights for both series expired at the end of 2022, which allowed Supercross and Motocross to combine their efforts.

In fact, it was that conversation that led to the formation of the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX).

The SMX series will begin on September 9, 2023 after the conclusion of the Pro Motocross season. Points will accumulate from both series to seed the SMX championship, which creates a record number of unified races.

“The SuperMotocross World Championship adds a new dimension to the annual Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons that will result in crowning the ultimate World Champion,” said Stephen C. Yaros, SVP Global Media and Supercross for Feld Motor Sports. “We are thrilled to be extending our relationship with NBC Sports so our fans can watch all the racing action streaming live on Peacock and the option to also watch select rounds on NBC, USA Network and CNBC.”

Complete 2023 coverage schedules for Supercross, Pro Motocross and the SuperMotocross World Championship on Peacock, NBC, USA Network and CNBC will be announced in the near future.